The semipalmated sandpiper feeds and forages by running with its head down while snapping or probing through the sand in search of prey (Terres 1980). In coastal marine and estuarine habitats, C. pusilla feeds on a variety of benthic organisms, such as: the amphipods, Corophium volutator, Acanthohaustorius millsi and Protohaustorius deichmannae; polychaete worms; and small mollusks (Terres 1980; Schneider & Harrington 1981; McCurdy et al. 1999). Freshwater and terrestrial prey consists of fly larvae, beetles and other insects (Terres 1980).Predators: Documented predators of C. pusilla include larger birds such as the snowy owl, Nyctea scandiaca, and jaegers of the genus Stercorarius (Safriel 1975).Parasites: Like many other bird species, C. pusilla acts as a terminal or final host for several parasites acquired from a variety of prey items. One such example is the parasitic worm, Skrjabinoclava morrisoni, transmitted from the amphipod, Corophium volutator (McCurdy et al. 1999).
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- USFWS. 2010. Migratory Birds and Habitat Programs. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Online at http://www.fws.gov/laws/lawsdigest/migtrea.html (Date accessed: 08/10/2010).
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- Collazo, JA, O'Harra, DA & CA Kelly. 2002. Accessible habitat for shorebirds: factors influencing its availability and conservation implications. Waterbirds 25: 13-24.
- McCurdy, DG, Forbes, MR & JS Boates. 1999. Evidence that the parasitic nematode Skrjabinoclava manipulates host Corophium behavior to increase transmission to the sandpiper, Calidris pusilla. Behav. Ecol. 19: 351-357.
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- Schneider, DC & BA Harrington. 1981. Timing of shorebird migration in relation to prey depletion. The Auk 98: 801-811.
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